IT IS just five years since one of the town’s musical organisations celebrated its centenary.
Now it looks as though Huddersfield Organists' Association may be about to wind up.
Local musicians met recently in an attempt to revive the organisation which has been dormant for around two years despite a membership in 2006 of around 60.
For those two years, there have been no takers for the vacant positions of secretary and treasurer, and the few events that were organised were not well supported. As a result, the association has called an extraordinary general meeting at which it is expected that the organisation, which is a registered charity, will be wound up.
The meeting will be on September 17 at 7.30pm in the Hall Lounge of Almondbury Parish Church, and unless anyone feels they want to step in and offer help, then this long-standing institution will close.
It all began when organists Ernest Cooper and Fred Clarkson wrote to the Examiner in 1903 asking if there would be any support for such an organisation.
By 1905, the association was up and running, making it the second oldest Organists' Association in the UK affiliated to the Incorporated Association of Organists.
Its aims, then as now, were to promote church and organ music and to support people who wanted to develop their playing. And over the years, it has done exactly that.
Kirklees Borough Organist Dr Gordon Stewart was president during its centenary year, and several events were well attended during his term of presidency.
They included a free recital at Huddersfield Town Hall in which Gordon was one of a number of organists, including Dr Simon Lindley, Dr Graham Cummings, Dr Geoffrey Lockwood and Andrew Robinson, who played pieces by composers with a Huddersfield link. The programme opened with a fanfare written by Almondbury musician Robert Cockroft.
Lunch was later held at Bradley’s restaurant with guests Francis Jackson, organist emeritus at York Minster, and Noel Rawsthorne, former organist at Liverpool Cathedral.
Those days look to be at an end unless someone offers help. If you are interested, call Dr Geoffrey Lockwood, organist and choirmaster at New Mill church on 01484 688487.